Gap, a brand that was once able to cash in on a perfect balance of cool, accessible and chic, has spent the past few years trying to reclaim their '90s success. And after a few screw ups, it sounds like they might finally be getting close--thanks to some refocusing, clearer advertising and the effects of fast fashion fatigue.
According to a cover story in AdAge heralding the retailer's "brand resurgence," sales and stock are increasing and Gap's decline has reversed. Some stats:
• Globally, net sales rose to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago during the third quarter ended Oct. 27. • In North America, same-store sales jumped 7%, compared with a 6% decline a year ago. • 10 months of positive same-store sales in North America, reversing a trend that saw nine straight months of negative same-store sales. • Gap Inc.'s stock has nearly doubled to around $35, year to date.
Gap has also become more attractive to investors, according to the article. One analyst is quoted as saying they're "getting their mojo back a little bit."
But how? Gap CMO Seth Farbman, who joined the company early last year, told AdAge the retailer has had to "forget its own history" and get "really fundamental and foundational."
The article focuses on Gap's new stripped down, emotional "Be Bright" marketing campaign, which includes "Love Comes in Every Shade" ads featuring celebrities ranging from Nas to Michael J. Fox with their loved ones. Further examples of "Be Bright" can be found in the product, like brightly colored jeans and my crazy neon coral scarf.
There's also styld.by, Gap's foray into the digital space, where fashion bloggers style and showcase Gap clothing. The retailer has also increased social media efforts and "doubled the number of millennials talking about Gap online this year."
Then there's the competition. Gap has sped up its production cycles to keep up with fast fashion, somewhat. But, Farbman thinks they'll benefit from a fast fashion backlash, insisting "consumers are hungry for well-priced quality basics." And he's probably right.
Their efforts are not exactly revolutionary or surprising. These days, you'll see brightly colored basics everywhere from J. Crew to C. Wonder. At the same time, they've started to do what everyone said they were failing to do for years: stick to the basics and present a clear vision. If they keep doing that well after this pop of color trend passes, they might really be on the right track.
How do you think Gap's doing? Seen anything cute there lately?